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Displaying items by tag: Vendee Globe

Organisers of the Vendée Globe have released the Notice of Race for the transatlantic New York Vendée–Les Sables d’Olonne in May 2024.

Last held in 2016 with 14 IMOCAs, this second edition will be the first organised by the Vendée Globe team itself. Set to start off in New York on 29 May 2024, it’s already shaping up to be a major event with 40 skippers expected to line up, and will be decisive for the next Vendée Globe in several respects.

Moreover, considering the lightning technological development of Vendée Globe boats in recent years, the race’s current record time set by Jérémie Beyou in 2016 — nine days, 16 hours, 57 minutes and 52 seconds — looks set to be smashed.

Taking place just a few months before the Vendée Globe, this final confrontation will be an opportunity to determine the strongest contenders for the next solo, non-stop, non-assisted round-the-world race. It is the ultimate opportunity for the favourites to assert their power.

Before setting off on this demanding 3,200-mile course, the sailors will treat the New York public to a great show in Manhattan Bay, organised on 24 May 2024 at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. The so-called ‘Liberty Race’ promises breathtaking images.

New York Vendée poster

This Atlantic crossing will be the last qualifying race for the 2024 Vendée Globe. To qualify, skippers must take part in two qualifying races: one in 2022 or 2023 and one in 2024. They must finish one of them in a time that cannot exceed the winner’s time plus 50%. That’s why taking part in this race is a real challenge for future Vendée Globe competitors.

The New York Vendée–Les Sables d’Olonne is also the last race in which the skippers clock up miles for their selection in the Vendée Globe, if more than 40 of them qualify. To underline its importance, the organisers have given it a special feature: for every mile sailed, the sailors will clock up 1.5 miles. So this transatlantic race counts for more than any other selection race.

After crossing the Atlantic and heading up the legendary channel in Les Sables d'Olonne, 40 competitors will pick up their precious pass: the entry ticket to the next Vendée Globe.

It’s a unique moment for the teams, the sponsors and the sailors, for whom this round the world represents the achievement of a four-year project and, for many of them, the dream of a lifetime. Sharing and emotion will be the watchwords of these finishes, which will serve as a dress rehearsal for those of the Vendée Globe in 2025.

Organisers say they look forward to seeing everyone on 9 June 2024 for the prize-giving ceremony, which will be held on the Vendée Globe esplanade in Les Sables d’Olonne.

Alain Leboeuf, president of the New York Vendée–Les Sables d’Olonne, of the Vendée Globe and the Département de la Vendée said at the launch on Thursday (6 July): “We are very proud to be organising the New York Vendée–Les Sables d’Olonne. This race is particularly important as it is the last qualifying and selection race for the Vendée Globe.”

Published in Vendee Globe

Following Vendée Globe competitor Clarisse Crémer’s “shock” at being dropped by her main sponsor after taking time off to have a baby, the World Sailing Trust was among those who took notice and has now published a set of recommendations to improve maternity policies in high-level sailing.

Titled ‘Project Juno’, the trust’s report comprises six recommendations “to look to set the sport of sailing on a more inclusive course when it comes to women who wish to become mothers and remain in their chosen fields”.

Speaking about the report, World Sailing Trust chair and legendary offshore sailor Dee Caffari said: “Following our publication of the Women in Sailing Strategic Review in 2019 and subsequent research into participation and the governance of the sport, we are well-placed to understand the challenges that face athletes and others who wish to become mothers.

“The pace of change regarding attitudes to mothers in sailing has been slow. When Clarisse Crémer confirmed on social media that she had been let go by her sponsor, Banque Populaire, there was uproar.

“But one does not need to dig too deep to find similar stories that. Olympians Theresa Zabell and Shirley Robertson both fell foul of the ‘system’ not being sufficiently flexible or accommodating of pregnant and new mothers, and there are doubtless many more.

“Project Juno looks at the four primary areas that athletes, teams, organisations and stakeholders should consider when looking at how to best support mothers and fathers. Through them, we also call on our sport to remove the ‘mother blinkers’ and accept that it will only be the best it can be only by being diverse and inclusive.”

Duncan Truswell of Sport England and a World Sailing Trust trustee added: “The rules are not deliberately made to discriminate, but, in the main, they do. This does not come from a place of prejudice or negativity but rather from a history of being a male-dominated sport. There is no immediate overnight fix and Project Juno is a work in progress, a first step to improve and make things better.”

The Project Juno report is available to download from the World Sailing Trust website HERE.

Published in Vendee Globe

Welsh Solo offshore Alex Thomson, who has ties to Cork Harbour in Ireland, has bought Banque Populaire’s IMOCA 60 following the team’s withdrawal from the next Vendée Globe in 2024 due to the controversial circumstances over dropping female skipper Clarisse Crémer.

5 West Ltd, represented by British four-time Vendée Globe competitor Alex Thomson, announced it had reached an agreement with Team Banque Populaire on its social media channels earlier this week (21 March 2023).

Banque Populaire posted a similar message via its social channels, stating: Team Banque Populaire has concluded an agreement for the sale of its IMOCA with the company 5 West Ltd represented by A. Thomson, for a project which will allow a future skipper to participate in the Vendée Globe. [Banque Populaire] wishes them success in this new challenge.

The skipper has not yet been announced, although some fans are hoping that Clarisse Crémer might return to the helm of the boat for the 2024 event.

Crémer came 12th overall in 2020/2021 Vendée Globe and was the first woman to complete that iteration, becoming a record holder. She was shockingly dropped by her sponsor Banque Populaire in February (2023) after she gave birth to a baby girl in November 2022.

In October 2021, new rules were implemented to qualify for the Vendée Globe. Previously, finishers automatically qualified for the next edition. Now skippers must gain points by participating in intermediate races with only the first 40 qualifying. Crémer’s maternity leaves meant she couldn’t accumulate enough points.

Published in Vendee Globe
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The Vendée Globe logo for the non-stop solo race around the world has been updated with capital lettering, on two lines, for a "more compact and modern expression".

The race departs on November 10th 2024, generally covering approximately 24,000 nautical miles (44,000 km). 

The visual celebrating next year's 10th edition of the event has been officially unveiled. "Sober and powerful, it highlights the sailor, alone on his IMOCA, facing the immensity of the Globe, " said the French race promoters.

This brand, accompanied by a sound identity, is used for the "Vendée Arctique Les Sables d'Olonne" and the "New York Vendée Les Sables d'Olonne" races.

"The Vendée Globe brand is now becoming a real umbrella for the other races we are organising, the Vendée Arctique Les Sables d'Olonne and the New York Vendée Les Sables d'Olonne," declared Alain Leboeuf, President of the Vendée Globe.

The race is scheduled to run from November to February, timed to place the competitors in the Southern Ocean during the austral summer.

Published in Vendee Globe
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Jacques Caraës, race director for the 2016 and 2020 Vendée Globe, is handing over to Hubert Lemonnier and becoming his deputy for next year's solo on stop round the world race.

The announcement was made as the Race Direction team for the 2024 Vendée Globe was announced.

The 2024 team is: Hubert Lemonnier, Jacques Caraës, Claire Renou, Pierre Hays and Yann Eliès.

Born in La Rochelle and aged 42, Lemonnier joined the world of offshore racing more than fifteen years ago. After working in various roles in various international teams, he turned to race management. In 2010, he joined the Barcelona World Race team, followed by 2012, 2016 and 2020 Vendée Globe and several other IMOCA races

Race control is an important part of the Vendée Globe organisation. It ensures the safety of the sailors at sea directly with the French Sailing Federation, the Race Committee, the Technical Committee, the International Jury and the Medical Commission.

The tenth edition of the Vendée Globe starts on 10th November 2024.

Published in Vendee Globe
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Vendée Globe competitor Clarisse Crémer says she is “in shock” after being dropped by her main sponsor just weeks after having a baby.

According to Marine Industry News, the record-setter was let go by Banque Populaire in the wake of a rule change in late 2021 that means finishers no longer automatically qualify for the next edition, and must be within the first 40 to secure enough points in intermediate races.

This left Crémer out of contention as she had taken time off from racing to become a mother; she gave birth to her first child in November 2022.

Banque Populaire claims that it proposed alternatives to Vendée organisers “so that the regulations take into account the situation of women in the Vendée Globe and the question of maternity” but that these were rejected.

Crémer, for her part, has blasted both the race organisers and her former sponsor for their failure to support her in motherhood.

“The rules of a competition are supposed to ensure fairness and sportsmanship. Today, the rules chosen by the Vendée Globe prohibit a woman from having a child,” she said, adding that “Banque Populaire decides that it represents for them a ‘risk’ that they ultimately do not want to take … They’re willing to take on the risk of a giant trimaran, and all the natural, technical and human hazards of racing offshore, but obviously not motherhood.”

What’s more, Crémer has the backing of some of the world’s top women sailors, with fellow Vendée competitor Pip Hare saying she is “shocked and ashamed” at the French woman’s treatment and Sam Davies, also a mother, branding the rule change’s failure to account for maternity leave from racing as a “terrible decision”.

Marine Industry News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Vendee Globe

Boris Herrmann’s offshore sailing team launched their new IMOCA race yacht as scheduled today, Tuesday 19 July in Lorient, Race some 18 months after design began.

Designed by VPLP, Malizia - Seaexplorer was built at Multiplast in nearby Vannes over the past 12 months, using “advanced” engineering technology and craftsmanship. The yacht will get its first big test in the Route du Rhum this November, ahead of the next edition of The Ocean Race in the new year.

“Learning from our experience in the past four years and in particular the Vendée Globe 2020-21, we wanted a boat that can maintain high average speeds even in rough sea conditions,” skipper Herrmann said at today’s launch event.

“Therefore, together with the architects from VPLP, we chose softer and rounder hull lines and a curved bow. We also made the boat even more solid than the previous one and completely redesigned the [ergonomics] and living space.”

Malizia - Seaexplorer carries the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals wheel and its hull features the team’s slogan, “A Race We Must Win - Climate Action Now”, with the aim of creating awareness and inspiring ambitious climate action.

Herrmann will skipper the boat in the Route du Rhum this November across the Atlantic from Saint-Malo to Guadeloupe, and his first single-handed regatta since the Vendée Globe.

Then from January, he will join co-skippers Will Harris and Rosalin Kuiper on Malizia - Seaexplorer for the round-the-world challenge of The Ocean Race — another test of the new boat, this time in the rough conditions of the Southern Ocean — with the ultimate goal of the Vendée Globe 2024-25 in sight.

Team Malizia is one of 14 IMOCA teams registered for The Ocean Race, which starts from Alicante in Spain on 15 January.

A notable feature of the new yacht is its mini-laboratory, the Ocean Pack, that will allow the team to continue to collect ocean data such as sea surface CO2 levels in remote regions like the Southern Ocean.

The boat, which sails under the flag of Monaco, will be christened during the Malizia Ocean Festival on 6-7 September in its home port Hamburg, where skipper Boris Herrmann lives and Team Malizia is based.

Published in Offshore

Gentoo Sailing Team has launched its campaign to compete in the 2024 Vendée Globe, led by Skipper James Harayda, who is aiming to be the youngest sailor to compete in the 2024 edition of the race.

The Vendée Globe is considered the pinnacle of ocean racing, and one of the toughest sporting challenges available. The race is a solo, non-stop, and unassisted circumnavigation of the planet.

The next edition of the race, commencing in November 2024, will be limited to only 40 entrants. To be considered for entry in the Vendée Globe, Skippers must qualify themselves by competing in several pre-determined races, taking place between 2022 and the start of the Vendée Globe in 2024.

Gentoo Sailing Team was founded two years ago by British sailor James Harayda, who has competed in high-level offshore racing around the world, has twice been crowned as British Champion in the Doublehanded Class and represented the country in the Doublehanded Offshore European Championships.

Ahead of the push for Vendée Globe, Gentoo Sailing Team has unveiled their new IMOCA 60 racing yacht, a 60-foot, hydro foiling boat that previously broke the record as the first IMOCA to cover 500 nautical miles in 24 hours, set by fellow Brit Alex Thompson.

Dee Caffari and James HaraydaDee Caffari (left) and James Harayda

Gentoo Sailing is committed to the environment, with sustainability at its core. At the 2024 Vendée Globe race, the team will be carbon neutral, and when it aims to compete in the 2028 edition, it’s striving to be able to do so carbon negative.

During the race, Harayda will be utilising data to support his challenge and give a performance advantage while racing. He will utilise data across three key areas; The Boat (speed, position, load, power usage etc.), The Environment (wind speed, direction, air and water temperature, salinity and pollution levels), The Man (heart rate, sleep patterns, calorie intake and exertion etc.).

In 2020 the 24-year-old teamed up with Dee Caffari MBE, who in 2006 became the first woman to sail solo non-stop around the world, westwards, against prevailing winds and currents. The offshore sailing icon also completed the Vendée Globe in 2009, becoming the first woman to sail solo around the world in both directions. Caffari and Harayda initially teamed up and raced successfully together in the Mixed Doublehanded Offshore class with an aim to win a gold medal for Great Britain in the 2024 Paris Olympics. On the cancellation of the class by the IOC, the pair refocused and developed this Vendée Globe campaign.

James Harayda said: "The Vendée Globe has always been the pinnacle of ocean racing, just finishing this race is an incredible feat, winning it is simply heroic. There is also so much more to this event than the race itself. The journey to the start line is considered one of the hardest parts of the race - the funding required, racing calendar, preparation needed, technical know-how, and just the sheer scale of the project is unbelievable and cannot be underestimated.

“For me, this race is about achieving something that very few people ever have. Less people have done this than been into space or climbed to the top of Everest. It is also about using this platform to show the world that being sustainable, in all uses of the word, does not come at a cost to performance.

“Our aim as a team is build our skills, knowledge, and partnerships through 2024 with an aim to win the Vendée Globe in 2028, making me the youngest and first-ever Brit to do so. I have a fantastic team around me which will be growing as we progress and I am confident that given the right resources, we can win this race in 2028.”

In addition to the Vendée Globe campaign, Gentoo Sailing Team has this year launched its Youth Development Program, with Caffari as the Trustee, and backed by the Ian Atkins Keelboat Award (IAKA). The program has selected 10 male and 10 female sailors, aged 16-23, and from all different backgrounds to race on its youth boat in the UK JOG and RORC offshore racing season.

The programme's aim is to offer a clear, achievable, and timebound pathway for the young sailors involved. All the sailors have different ambitions within the sport and Gentoo Sailing Team is working with each of the young sailors in order to open as many relevant doors as possible to help them realise these ambitions. The sailors will benefit from mentoring, on and off-the-water coaching, technical workshops, and offshore racing. The sailors will also gain skills in teamwork, communication, and leadership and play a role in the team’s wider sustainability projects.

Dee Caffari MBE, a veteran of the race, concluded: “The Vendée Globe takes talent and ability as well as resilience and tenacity. Having sailed with James for the last 18 months I have seen these qualities in him. He is a young, ambitious sailor who is keen to learn and improve. He is open to new ideas and willing to hear feedback, and these characteristics have made him a pleasure to sail with and I am keen to help him realise his dream of a Vendée Globe entry.”

Published in Vendee Globe
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Marcus Hutchinson of Howth and Kinsale is leaving France's TR Racing, where he was team manager for Thomas Ruyant during the last Vendée Globe campaign.

Hutchinson took on the role in January 2018 and is credited by solo skipper Ruyant as being one of the linchpins of the team's performance.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the Hutchinson-managed Vendee Globe-entered IMOCA 60 provided major publicity for the not-for-profit social organisation LinkedOut. 

Of his TR departure, Hutchinson said (in a post translated from French) "We started from scratch in January 2018. We didn't even have a screwdriver in our name when Thomas and Laurent Bourguès asked me to join them,"  “Thomas had a very clear vision and great motivation to set up a successful project off the beaten track. Together, in "start-up" mode, we have put together a great team and we have built a beautiful boat with the support of Advens. We did quite well in sporting terms with fine podiums, successful competitions and a landslide victory in the Transat Jacques Vabre. We can also be proud to have generated enormous media value around our project, directly broadcast to a very important societal cause, and all this in a difficult context linked to the health crisis.

“I would like to thank Thomas and his entourage for giving me this opportunity, for having confidence in my choices and for having shared this adventure with so much class. I wish the TR Racing team all the best for the future. I know they will continue to do great things on the water and on land. Thanks again and keep doing better and better". 

Ruyant said “For many years, Marcus has done a lot of good for French sailing, bringing his vision to our community and encouraging foreign sailors to join our circuits, particularly on the Solitaire du Figaro. I met him when he was in charge of the Figaro Artemis. He joined TR Racing at the start of our 2020 Vendée Globe campaign. We are starting a new cycle in our operation with the rise of our team, our coming season aboard our LinkedOut sailboat, the construction of Advens 2 for the next World Tour. I wish good luck to Marcus for the rest of his great journey". 

Hutchinson has worked on five America's Cup events during his career, and has been coach and mentor for major solo ocean racing campaigns including the Figaro and Vendée Globe and spoke to Afloat's Lorna Siggins in a podcast here in 2021 about Ireland's prospects of hosting the America's Cup.

Published in Vendee Globe

The President of SAEM Vendée, the organisers of the Vendée Arctique and the Vendée Globe, publish the Notice of Race detailing the rules for participation in the Vendée Arctique - the first qualifying race for the Vendée Globe 2024.

The Vendée Arctique is a non-stop solo offshore race with no outside assistance allowed following in the pure tradition of the Vendée Globe. Now approaching its second edition it is a very unique and demanding event, an extreme adventure very much in keeping with the ethos of the Vendée Globe and the IMOCA class. The solo racers set off northwards the direction of the Arctic Circle, circumnavigating Iceland, before returning to Les Sables d'Olonne, following a demanding 3,500-mile course.

As organisers, the primary duty of SAEM Vendée, is to ensure the safety of sailors, to provide fair racing and to optimise conditions so that as many starters can finish the race and advance their knowledge, experience and their qualification requirements for the 2024 Vendée Globe.

To ensure the skippers are best prepared to face the hostile, icy northern waters Race Direction of the organisation, led by Francis Le Goff, has defined the rules for participation in the Vendée Arctique – Les Sables d’Olonne.

Each skipper must qualify solo on the boat that will do the Vendée Arctique, finishing before May 14, 2022, choosing between

  • The Guyader – Bermudes 1000 Race (1,200 nautical miles)
  • A qualification course of at least 800 nautical miles
  • Two qualifying courses, the sum of which will be greater than 1,000 nautical miles
  • In the event that the skipper elects to do a qualifying course rather than the race, at least one of the two must enable them to sail at least 100 miles in wind and sea conditions of at least force 5 on the Beaufort scale.

Notice of Race available for download below

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